The South is known for its decadent and rich desserts, and red velvet cake is one of the most iconic. With its distinctive deep crimson color and luscious cream cheese frosting, red velvet cake is a classic Southern dessert that is a must-try. This recipe yields a moist, tender three-layer red velvet cake that is full of flavor.

1. Southern Red Velvet Cake Recipe


For the cake

  • 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1⁄2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1⁄2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


To start, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease three 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Next, in a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.

Once the cakes are cooled, layer between the cake rounds with the cream cheese frosting. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with fresh flowers or berries if desired.

Red velvet cake gets its signature red color from the reaction between the cocoa powder and acidic buttermilk and vinegar. This activates the anthocyanin pigments in the cocoa, turning the batter crimson. But don’t worry, you won’t taste the vinegar! It adds a lovely tang and moisture.

With its bright color contrasted by creamy white frosting, this Southern red velvet cake is sure to be a hit at any gathering or holiday table. The layers of moist vanilla-flavored cake and rich frosting make every bite divine. This recipe is easy to make and fun to share with friends and family.

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julia jane

Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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